Archive for December 2009

Coffee: A Blogger's Best Friend

I have a pretty decent home office setup.  But there's a problem:  sometimes I just can't write when I'm at home. 

I often find it helpful to go out to a coffee shop.  This seems kind of counter-intuitive--you'd think I get more done in the comfort of my own home.  The coffee shop, after all, is full of distractions (I often end up talking to new people).  But it seems the different environment gives me energy and focus.

This isn't just a blogging thing for me--it's a writing thing.  God willing, my second book will be out in 2010.  There's no telling how much of it was written outside my home office (the coffee shop, the rooftop of my apartment building, etc). 

What about you?  Does changing your environment help you to write new content (blogging or otherwise)? 

In case you are wondering, I'm writing this article over a cup of BK Joe (Burger King coffee).  They've got free wifi here. 

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Affiliate Marketing: A Beginner's Guide (Part 4)


Part 4: The Cons/Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing

I discussed the pros/advantages of affiliate marketing in my previous post of this series. Now I’ll mention the disadvantages, or challenges of affiliate marketing.

1. No Sale, No Earnings: As I mentioned before, affiliate marketing usually requires something besides a click-through on an ad for you to earn. Generally speaking, you only earn when someone buys something. This may mean you go days (or longer, depending on your traffic) without earning any money. This may be a challenge for you if you are used to seeing money trickle in daily from cost-per-click (CPC) advertising.


2. More Work Required: Affiliate marketing will also require more work than other forms of advertising. Adsense, for example, automatically chooses ads based on the content of your blog. Affiliate marketing requires you to choose, research, and promote specific products.

These are the main two challenges I see with affiliate marketing. There may be others, but I think they would somehow fall under one of these two general categories. One issue, for example, would be your reputation as a blogger—it would be damaged if you promoted a product that turned out to be low quality. This falls under #2—the need to carefully research what you promote.

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Iron Man 2 Official Trailer

Iron Man 2 Official Trailer:
This is gonna be good . . .

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Affiliate Marketing: A Beginner's Guide (Part 3)

Part 3: The Pros/Advantages of Affiliate Marketing

Now it’s time for me to talk about the advantages of affiliate marketing. Keep in mind I’m referring to affiliate marketing from a blogger’s perspective, comparing it to other way of monetizing a blog (adsense, etc).

Two main advantages come to mind:

1. Profits: Generally speaking, affiliate marketing has much greater profit potential than other forms of monetization. The most my strength and fitness blog has ever made in one day with adsense is about 20 dollars. I can make more than that with one sale through affiliate marketing. Yes, there are plenty of people who click the ads and never buy anything. Yes, there are days that I don’t make a single sale. Regardless, it has been a much better use of advertising space for me.

2. Control: Affiliate marketing gives you (the blogger) control over what specific products you want to promote. This may not be an issue for your niche, but it was for mine. One major purpose of my fitness blog is exposing scams (bogus supplements, etc). I was getting tired of the “lose ten pounds in ten hours” ads showing up through adsense (I imagine most other ad networks would have given me the same dilemma).

These two advantages have produced a win-win situation: I refer my readers to high quality products and make more money doing it.

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Page Rank Reconsideration Successful

A while back I wrote a post about how stats can drive a blogger crazy.   I mentioned that my page rank had been dropped from 3 to 2 over at strongandfit.net.

Here's the latest: my page rank has been reinstated.  I requested a reconsideration through my google webmaster tools account. 

I never lost sleep over this, but it's nice to have it back up--especially considering all the work I put into getting good back links.  

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Affiliate Marketing: A Beginner's Guide (Part 2)




Here's Part 2 of  Affiliate Marketing: A Beginner's Guide

As I mentioned in the introductory article, I'm not an expert on this.  I just want to share what I'm learning--things I wish I knew when I first started blogging.

What is affiliate marketing?  Darren Rowse has described it this way at Problogger.net:

"Perhaps the simplest way to explain affiliate marketing is that it is a way of making money online whereby you as a publisher are rewarded for helping a business by promoting their product, service or site."

So how does this differ from adsense and other cost-per-click programs?

Generally speaking, affiliate marketing requires something more than a click-through or an impression for you to earn money.

Most affiliate marketing programs work on commission--you earn when someone buys something you referred them to (there are some variations, which I will describe in another post).  This is why the earning potential tends to be higher than pay-per-click--you can earn a percentage of the money spent on the actual purchase. 

I'll talk about the pros and cons of affiliate marketing in my next post.

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Passive Income: Myth or Reality?


I think a lot of people are drawn to blogging by the lure of "passive income"--making money while you sleep. 

There's some truth to this idea:  your blog will be visited even when you are away from the computer.
 
But it takes a lot of work to create a profitable blog with decent traffic.  Passive income is only possible after you've invested a great deal of time and effort. 

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Save Your Facebook Account Scam

I keep seeing this "I have just completed my account verification" message in my feed.  It looks like this:


DO NOT CLICK THIS APPLICATION AND LOG IN.  It looks to me like a phishing scam--a bogus application designed to collect your password information.

Think about it--why would Facebook start deleting user accounts?

PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO WARN OTHERS.

If you have already logged in to this application I'd recommend you delete it then change your password.  Make sure your facebook password is not the same one you use for bank accounts, etc in connected to your facebook email address.

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The New Friendster is Here


Friendster has made some major changes!  I'm not quite sure what to think of it.  I've used Friendster for several years and it's the first time I can remember seeing such major changes. 

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